Summarizing Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Introduce the concept of summarizing to your students with a lesson, followed by a discussion of the main components. Then use another lesson to teach students strategies to use when summarizing. Practice with text.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define summarizing and list main components
  • apply strategies for summarizing
  • distinguish between relevant and irrelevant facts


  • 1 hour


  • Copies of various short stories, articles, or familiar text

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2

Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges, is shaped, and is refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.2

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.1

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


  • Have students gain an overview of summarizing by reading our lesson What Is a Summary? - Definition & Concept.
  • Discuss what strong summaries do and do not include, times and situations in which we write summaries, and why summarizing is a necessary skill.


  • Have students partner and share a recent experience. Instruct them to tell the story two times: one using only relevant facts and the next with all the details.
  • Discuss which story was more entertaining and which easier to understand. Which makes a good summary? Discuss relevant and irrelevant facts when summarizing.
  • Next, read our lesson on summarizing strategies, Summarizing Information to Demonstrate Understanding, together as a class.
  • After each strategy, pause to discuss times students have used the method in the past. Share thoughts and experiences.


  • Pass out copies of short stories and articles. Consider allowing students to choose.
  • Have students apply one of the three summarizing strategies to the text.
  • Circulate the room to support learning.
  • Discuss:
    • Why did you choose the strategy you did for your particular text?
    • How did your summarizing strategy help you?
    • Which strategies are best for different types of text?

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